Designate between a "Group" and a "Solo" ride on Strava

This would allow Strava cyclists to tag a ride as a group ride or a solo ride, and also be able to sort segment leaderboards by those filters.

 

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375 comentários
  • "Is it interesting to see how you stack up? Sure.  But let's not take this too seriously and ask to sub-divide the data every which way without a coherent understanding of what that would entail and how impossible it would be to genuinely make everything equivalent for results."

    We're not taking it too seriously. We're asking to sub-divide the data in a way which is: 1) easy to determine and is always known (ie, nobody calculates average wind speed and direction over a segment effort, but everybody knows darn well if they were drafting or not) and 2) cleanly separates advantage from disadvantage (ie, drafting/group riders always have an advantage over solo riders)

    Because of this, I keep pointing out that accounting for group/solo is less like accounting for wind and more like accounting for sex. Everybody knows what sex they were on each ride, and being one sex (male) is always an advantage over being the other one. So, Strava has chosen to give females their own leaderboard and QOM. So, if you're going to argue that there shouldn't be a group/solo distinction, then you should be prepared to explain why we shouldn't also get rid of the male/female distinction.

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  • Point taken, Elle. I found this quote from a Strava UX designer apropos.

    As Alex Mather, a user-experience designer at Strava, told me, “We joked about having a dad filter. It’s your handicap, basically.”

    http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness/biking/How-Strava-Is-Changing-the-Way-We-Ride.html?page=all 

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  • "...So, if you're going to argue that there shouldn't be a group/solo distinction, then you should be prepared to explain why we shouldn't also get rid of the male/female distinction...."

    I'll bite!  ...because when I lead a group of 50 riders over a serious climb, there is no argument over the disposition of my genitalia during the effort.

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  • That's because we expect men to perform better. Now, if a woman was crushing all of the men in the hills, and if she wasn't clearly endowed with womanly features, then people would start to wonder. And this has happened in the past, with people for calling for chromosome tests of the freakishly-strong, burly-looking eastern-European weightlifters.

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  • Wanna know how I know you guys have never raced? Sheesh.
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  • 1 - You could ask. It's not like I'm trying to keep it a secret.

    2 - Even though I've never raced (rather, probably because I've never raced), my position on Strava leaderboards plays a role in getting me to ride more often and try a little harder on my rides. That's kinda the point of the leaderboards.

    3 - Knowing that I'm competing against people who are benefiting from drafting takes away from that motivation that the leaderboards are supposed to engender.

    In conclusion: You're right. I've never raced. Lots of people in this discussion never have. And that has absolutely no bearing upon the legitimacy of the arguments for/against a "solo" leaderboard.

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  • No need to be elitist, Derek. (Lousy, slow, old) Cat 2 (road) here.

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  • I've never raced, and I don't want to - despite guys in the trying to get me into vets racing.

    Doesn't change my opinion that a solo/group ride flag is pointless.  And yes - I know that Joe is likely to immediately respond with a point-by-point defence of his opinion - which is fine, because we're all entitled to our own opinions.

    Me? As I've said before - I take notice of segment positions on climbs (either short and steep, or long and alpine-ish).  I don't even bother looking at tables for flat sections.

    Yes - I FULLY agree that Strava can be really motivating - but in my case, it's chasing someone in my own club. Honestly, I never bother trying to beat someone in a ranking who I don't know.  Sometimes I look at where I am in the ranking in my age group, or my weight group - but usually just in my club.

    I can appreciate that there are people who - for whatever reason - don't want to join a club. I suppose in those situations it's useful to compare yourself to strangers.

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  • My point was, guys who obsess this much over Strava leaderboards to see how they "stack up" against people who were riding on different days in different conditions have obviously never raced. If you really want to know how you stack up, toe a line. Otherwise, relax. Strava is a fun tool that's a good motivator, but it's not the absolute arbiter of ability.
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  • YAH!  I always ride alone and would love to move up the ranking without having group assisted riders hogging all the good spots above me.  It just CRUSHES my ego everytime I log on to see I'm STILL in the bottom 10% on every climb in my region................  maybe I'm just slow but still.

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  • Well, I think the general consensus is that groups don't provide any advantage in climbs (unless your Cat-2 buddy is there yelling at you to suck it up and climb!). So, those people in *favor* of a solo-leaderboard are, essentially, arguing for them to be implemented for *flat* segments. Now "flat" could be something determined by Strava's computers (elevation-gain vs. total distance), or it could be done by rider consensus (a little like how we can flag segments as hazardous, we could also flag segments as, say, "draft-sensitive").

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  • Really would be nice to see if I'm competing against a solo time or a group time, thanks!

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  • I'm with Joe all the way. Started on the road in Dec, just did a first group ride today and wish I could separate my new segment PRs from the solo somehow. All I could do was 'hide' them for when my mates check out the ride, but the leader board will still show me as having jumped incredibly. It would also let me compare to my mates when they use the same function. One friend rarely does solo stuff so I can only think most of the time... " well, he's not THAT good cos he was in a group". Now, I know he's way better than me, but can't tell how much until this sort of feature is added for him as well. As for the 'racing species' here having a go at Joe ...grow up and get off the roids.

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  • It would be good as a personal filter such as the age and weight filter, solo or group ride , It will never effect the overall score regardless. I haven't seen strava respond to this blog. Why?

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  • I would like to have the option to sort my data using "solo" or "group". Today i was with friends on a road i normally train on alone . So now i have a bunch of new records set because i was much fresher having drafted in the group to get to where the segment started. So I would like to sort the data without those rides to more easily track my own training. 

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  • I don't think KOM rankings need to come into this – most of them aren't affected by whether the ride was a group ride or a solo ride, and there are other things that make just as much difference, e.g. wind conditions, how good a bike you're riding, whether the road has just been resurfaced, etc.

    What would be useful, though, is just to have a box that you can check when you upload your ride to specify whether it was a group ride or not. It's useful simply to be able to see whether a ride of yours (or of someone else's) was ridden solo or not, as this will affect the ride's overall stats (and it's these stats that matter, not how many KOMs you managed to pick up on the way).

    It needn't affect KOM rankings – I think this would just make KOMs too complicated and "serious"; it's supposed to be for fun. (And if a certain segment has this drafting problem, then who cares? Find another!). However, it would still be useful just to be able to mark rides as group/solo, for the sake of information (so that they can be filtered, for example).

    Is Strava going to respond to this thread at all?

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  • Will Vousden sprach: "most of them aren't affected by whether the ride was a group ride or a solo ride".

    As much as I wish that were the case, it's just not backed up by the facts. Go look at a handful of flat segments. Usually, you'll find (from checking the dates and elapsed times) that about a full half of the top-10 on the leaderboard are from the same group ride. They are hugely affected by whether the ride was a group or solo ride. 

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  • I'm beginning to wish that Strava would remove KOM rankings from any segment that wasn't at least a Cat 4 climb. I'm getting truly sick and tired of the dozens of stupid little segments that are 100m sprints over bridges, or 200m sprints down (flat) busy roads, or country lanes.

    Maybe it's fine for your guys who ride in the middle of nowhere - but if you ride in a busy area it's a real problem, that seems to be getting a lot worse recently.

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  • Can't argue with you there. They *are* kinda taking over.

    The only KOM I ever had was on a 1-mile sprint near my house. The only reason I got that was because I had been doing lots of squats at the gym, so my legs had great shot-duration power, but nothing useful for real cycling (always got dropped by the fast groups about 10 miles into their lunch rides), so I had no business being at the top of a cycling leaderboard.

    My personal peeve involves the "speed traps" that people make... these little 10-foot segments just to measure how fast you were going at a certain spot (usually at the crest of a long climb). One problem with these is that, because your GPS is only sampling about once per second, it comes down to how many GPS samples were taken between the start and finish, which is usually 1, 2, or 3. So, you've got all of these guys tied for KOM with a speed of 56.312mph because their times all got rounded down to 1 sec. That, and the way to join the ranks at the top is just to loaf it on the hill and then just unload it all on the trap. And then you can take multiple tries, seeing if you can get the GPS timing to be just right. One of these days, I'm going to go do a "trap repeats" ride. :)

    But, in the end, nobody's forcing you to effort all of those segments. In fact, Strava *does* auto-hide the unpopular ones. The do kinda clutter up the Explore map a bit, but, other than that, I don't see the real harm. It's just irritating that there are so many people who aren't about the long-term suffering... but, meh.... it's their body.

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  • I support a tick box to mark rides as ITT's, but any auto-sorting will just lead to bad data.

    Further those with knickers in a twist about groups taking your KoMs, chill the fudge out and find steeper climbs where group efforts can't help or join your local club. Seriously around here we use the term "windfarming" for when someone goes out on a 30km+ windy day and mops up KoMs. I descend like Andy Schleck but I've got a downhill KoM (solo for what it's worth) thanks to being pushed by an impending storm. I TTT'ed the same segment with my strongest friends the other day (one of whom would be a Cat 1 in the American system) and we all came up 3km/hr below my KoM, so being in or out of a group is sometimes only half the story. On the climbs around here I generally do better solo than with my friends because I can pace myself instead of going into the red responding to and instigating surges and attacks (the real time win is always more important than the Strava time).

    Yes I race, yes I have more than a page of K0M's, no hardly any of them were earned on a group ride.

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  • This should be automatic. Other person on the same segment at the same time = group ride. On the segment on your own = solo. Ok this will be unfair to some people however there must be some compromise in an imperfect system.

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  • Here's another vote for the ability to filter group from individual effort! If there is a difference in performance because of age and weight, it is clearly true for individual versus group efforts.

    I dropped 11 places in one day due to a group ride. Why should the pack-sucking wart on the back of a group ride place higher than a heroic solo effort?

    While some argue that it doesn't matter "why" someone else is faster, I argue that we collectively distinguish between ITT and TTTs at all levels of sport. Another argument is that groups don't affect hill climbs "much", however most segments are probably rolling hills or terrain where drafting makes a 10W to 100W difference.

    I individually aim for KOM but will most likely will never beat the peloton.

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  • And what if the KOM was the guy at the front of the pack, pulling all the others?

    And what happens when a Pro rides out, and takes the KOMs?  Yes - I see that on the rides that I do.  And yes - on the segments around here, there are always other guys in my club who are *way* faster than me.  And they will always be - because they're either half my age, or they've been racing for 10 years, or they're simply a faster cyclist.

    There are simply so many variables, you're never going to make this fair. And anyway - not everyone who rides a segment is on Strava.  I've been out on plenty of rides where guys (and girls) without Garmins go faster than me.

    As a club-mate has put on his Strava title page: "Strava is not racing"

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  • I think that all the points have been made. For me it comes down to this: what would it hurt? Giving us more ways to sort or measure—what would it hurt? If it were completely voluntary—who would it hurt? If it wasn't used to take away or award KOM/QOMs—what would it hurt?

    If it would be completely useless to you personally—so what?

    If it were enabled/filtered by pressing a button—just as age and weight are now—why do you care?

    Why not let what looks to be a sizable number of users have what THEY want?

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  • Perhaps Strava should circulate a questionnaire to premium members (since those are the ones paying for the programmer's time) - and see whether people want this feature, compared to other possible updates.

    Surely that's the most democratic way to bring this year-long thread to an end...

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  • The group ride preference people and more serious riders/trainers are the ones opposing the change yet they are the ones with more fruit, devices and options to gauge their own performance so why do they need to even use Strava? There are other apps that do similar functions without comparisons to each other aren't there? It seems they are opposed to a change that simply removes ONE of the corrections that can be made easily to the app. Anything is an improvement to a system that is effectively another cheat in the eyes of people wanting to gauge their OWN performance v's others OWN performance. George Cory points out the ways good & pro riders can KOM near a group segment finish and if that's their 'style', they could easily be flagged. If a KOM rider was 'dragging the group along' then they should be able to  do the  same thing on their own too. If not, and they received some assistance during the segment, then it's another 'cheat' method not worthy of a KOM. If Strava has all the GPS data, it could weed out such events. I am not a premium member BECAUSE the KOM system is flawed by group rides, so I don't think a vote should be restricted to them either. I'll gladly pay up if the groupies can get over the fact it would be easy too IMPROVE the situation... not perfect, but IMPROVE. Honesty is one thing but functionality is another.

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  • Click the following link to see an example of why auto "clumping" rides as groups or solo won't work http://app.strava.com/activities/23084562# That is Luke Roberts of Tewam Milram's Stage 5 data from the 2010 Tour Down Under (ProTour 2.1). He is the only member of the pro peloton to have posted that stage's data. He will probably always show up as having ridden that race by himself. He was helping Thomas Rohregger win the KoM classification.

    I can find lots of other data sets in this area generated by a World Tour team training in a bunch but with only one of them uploading to Strava. Only a handful of those guys share their data publicly so it often looks like they're riding around by themselves when they are with up to to eight other guys. An optional tick box may work, but it's always going to be pretty meaningless.

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  • wth? let's put this to rest!
    Strava, hook it up. im a paying member and woukd appreciate the labelling of solo and group.
    cant be that hard to reconfigure,

    thx, ken

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  • Seriously guys I so hope some of you get your way and Strava automatically assigns people into group or solo. A good chunk of my fastest friends don't publicly share all their data so if I make some good coffees I'll be cleaning up the ITT tables without ever having to put my front wheel into the wind. And when a club two-up time trial comes up, I might have to choose my partner based on whether or not they're a Strava user or not.

    I'd be surprised if 1 out of 10 A Graders (Cat 1's in US speak) use Strava. Personally I did  a lot of two person rides last season with a rider who races overseas but only sporadically uploads to Strava. And I know brothers who train together as a pair a lot during our Summer, only one of them uses Strava at all, the other one wears jerseys that have the letters BMC in big letters and he doesn't buy them from a shop. 

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  • I think the idea of auto-detection of group-vs-solo has been mostly abandoned (for reasons which, once one digs though the sarcasm, you list in your latest post). What currently seems like the plausible arrangement would be for "group" to be the default, and you'd have to explicitly mark your ride as solo. This would prevent people from, like you describe, being able to "passively cheat" by just being shrewd about riding only with non-Strava users. This way, they'd have to deliberately go on record as avowing that their ride was solo, which is a slightly higher psychological barrier than just riding with dudes without GPS's. Sure, someone could lie, but they can already lie about their gender and rack up QOM's, so we've already accepted that determined dweebs can deliberately cheat the system.

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